Mock Dogfight Between F-16 And Russian Fighter Takes Place over Area 51

Mock Dogfight Between F-16 And Russian Fighter Takes Place over Area 51

A photographer caught sight of something very unusual in the skies above Area 51 in Nevada that raised plenty of questions about what might be going on at the top-secret installation.

Vacationing air traffic controller Phil Drake photographed a Russian-built Su-27P fighter jet taking on a U.S. Air Force F-16 in what appeared to be a mock dogfight that could indicate that the U.S. is preparing for conflict with either Russia or China — or both.

Drake, a 42-year-old enthusiast from Hampshire in the United Kingdom, told the U.K. Daily Mail in an exclusive interview that he had visited the famous area on Election Day, hoping to see some jets involved in a training mission.

Apparently he saw more than he might have hoped for.

Drake said the Russian jet was a Sukhoi Su-27P Flanker-B (NATO’s reporting name), which he said had never been officially imported into the U.S.

Drake explained that the Flanker was rumored to have been flying in the area for almost 20 years, but added that no one had ever managed a photograph to prove it had been used in the area.

Take a look at a couple of the shots Drake took:


“This sequence of photos is the first proof that the Americans are flying this aircraft, which is the premier air defense fighter in use with the Russian and Chinese air forces,” he said.

“I took a long series of photographs, but as the aircraft were fairly high, my auto-focus couldn’t cope. I had to shoot in manual mode, constantly moving the focusing ring to attempt to get some reasonable images,” he explained.

Drake said the two jets engaged in combat for 25 minutes at altitudes ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 feet. After they finished the mission, they flew into Groom Lake’s restricted airspace, Drake said.

Below are images of where Drake took his photos.

Area 51-2

Neither the Air Force nor the Defense Department has commented on this dogfight, an exercise which might (or might not) indicate that the Air Force is responding to increased tensions with Russia or China.

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